Titans retained dominance and a new format bested expectations in the most recent radio ratings survey, which ended shortly before a successful and beloved format vanished, leaving listeners lamenting.
The dominance of the Perry and Price morning show simulcast on KSSK-FM 92.3/AM 590 continued in the Arbitron Fall 2010 radio audience measurement survey, leaving other morning shows battling for everything below that, as usual. The Sept. 16-to-Dec. 8 survey encompassed the University of Hawaii football season, giving Bobby Curran’s sports-talk show on KKEA-AM 1420 its annual appearance among the highest-rated morning radio shows as the only stand-alone AM station in the rarefied top-five air.
KSSK-FM is also No. 1 among overall listeners 12 and older, as well as among adults 25 to 54, while the 18- to 34-year-old demographic race went to island-music formatted KDNN-FM 98.5, which was No. 2 a year ago. KSSK and KDNN are among seven in Honolulu owned by Texas-based Clear Channel Communications Inc.
The biggest ratings rattler of the survey was the demise of the decades-old hit music format and call letters of venerable KIKI-FM 93.9.
The call letters changed to KHJZ-FM, and the hits were dropped for old-school rhythm-and-blues, an attack aimed directly at similarly formatted KUMU-FM 94.7, owned by California-based Ohana Broadcast Co. LLC.
KHJZ has shaken up the demographic battlegrounds, jumping to No. 3 among the 25- to-54-year-olds and to No. 4 among 18- to-34-year-olds from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday.
Format changes generally take one or two Arbitron surveys to take hold, said Chuck Cotton, vice president and general manager of Clear Channel Hawaii, "but this was almost instantaneous. … After three weeks we had clear evidence that we had rocked the market."
The shot across the bow did not "knock us down," said Trip Reeb, regional vice president and general manager of KUMU and Ohana’s other Honolulu stations. KUMU and its morning show hosted by Frank B. Shaner and the uni-monikered Mandy have shown solid performance among the overall audience and the advertiser-desired adult demographics, despite some technical issues that affected the station.
KRTR-FM 96.3 and sister station KPHW-FM 104.3 performed best among local stations owned by Atlanta-based Cox Radio Inc., while its once-dominant Hawaiian music stations lagged.
Adjustments are ahead for sister-stations KINE-FM 105.1 and KCCN-FM 100.3, mostly musical, said Mike Kelly, Cox Radio Hawaii vice president and general manager.
On Dec. 26 after the Arbitron survey had ended, KHUI-FM 99.5 dropped its adult standards format to simulcast the Christian teaching and talk format of KGU-AM 760 and changed its call letters to KGU-FM. The simulcast will conclude after this month when KGU will change to another format.
KHUI was the No. 3 station among adults 35 and older and was tied for No. 7 in the overall ranking of listeners 12 and older, but the decision of California-based Salem Communications Corp., to put one of its core, Christian formats on a higher-profile frequency was not about ratings, station officials said at the time.
FALL RADIO RATINGS
Audience share of listeners 12 and older from 6 a.m.-midnight Monday through Sunday. Last year’s statewide rankings are in parentheses.
* KHJZ-FM was KIKI-FM in fall 2009 but changed call letters and format in September.
OAHU MORNING RADIO WINNERS
Audience share of listeners 12 and older from 6-10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Last year’s statewide rankings are in parentheses.
Share is the percentage of audience listening. Honolulu is the nation’s 64th-largest radio market.
Survey dates Sept. 16 to Dec. 8.
Source: Arbitron Inc.